Cataloging Objects

Throughout the life of the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, many people have brought in a great variety of objects as donations to help build the Museum’s collection. From Arthropods to Zuni pottery, the generosity of these donors has created the strong collection that exists today. I am often asked how the Museum tracks the information of these objects.

When these objects are given to the Museum, any information regarding the object is recorded in a catalog. Originally, our catalog was a card catalog with hand written entries. In 2009, this card catalog became entirely digitized into an online database. This information includes answers to basic questions such as: Who gave it to the Museum? What is it?  How old is it? Where did it come from?  How big is the object?  What materials is it made from?  These are but a few of the pieces of information the Museum wishes to record about any given object.  In almost all cases, this information is regarded as equally important as the object itself.  The Museum is currently upgrading this catalog information with photographs of the objects and working on sharing our heritage photography on the Museum website. It is our hope that more of our collection will be visible online in the coming years as this effort proceeds.